It was a bad day. A lot of bad stuff happened. And I'd love to forget it all. But I don't. Not ever. Because this is what I do. Every time, every day, every second, this: On five, we're bringing down the government.

Tuesday, October 31



And there's new Repairman Jack and Lois McMaster Bujold goodies to be had!

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Pure. Unalloyed. Cool.

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More buzz.

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Took Friday off sick.

Got a call on Saturday that one of the systems was down. Said I'd look at it on Monday.

Monday arrives, and I look at it. Seems that both sides of a mirror had spontaneously converted themselves to unrecognised volumes. The system had become somewhat disconcerted, and crashed.

Yes, I had a backup. A complete, up-to-date backup.

Because I'm paranoid.

Fortunately, very soon all of this will become Not My Problem.

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Saturday, October 28



So I'm back from my holiday, which was fun, but I brought some uninvited guests with me.

The worst cold I've ever had.

For four days my throat felt like I'd been gargling RFNA. The only thing that made any difference was tea. A nice mug of English Breakfast with honey would make the pain go away for half an hour, and keep it bearable for an hour more. After that, it became so uncomfortable that I was unable to sleep.

So a full night's sleep required five or six large mugs of tea... which comes with its own problems. Needless to say, I have not been sleeping well. (This morning I got four hours uninterrupted - starting at 6AM. That's the best I've done in the past week.)

But at least in the agonizing pain stage I wasn't much trouble to others. After four days of that, I returned home from my trip, and by the next day the pain had largely faded.

But I wasn't better.

I had moved on to stage two, which combined heavy (and pretty yucky) congestion with an incessant cough. The part where I bark like a seal is particularly amusing. So I need to take a decongestant and a cough suppressant, and use the manual override when I really do need to cough.

And an antihistamine, because just because I'm in bed with a horrible cold doesn't mean I don't get hay fever as well.

As of this afternoon, the cough seems to be under control. Either the codeine worked or it's just run its course; the last bad session was at 4AM. Now I just have to see if that's it, or if there's a stage three, where I presumably implode or break out in hives or something.

I'm not complaining - okay, I am complaining - just letting you know that I am back but not exactly running at full efficiency just yet.

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Friday, October 27


I Didn't Order That!

Currently receiving 2000+ trackback spams per minute.


Had to reconfigure Apache, which was choking under the load. Bloody Apache 1.3. Bloody CPanel. Grrr.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 10:16 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Wednesday, October 25


Downloading Message 9511 Of 10537

It's good to be home.

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Friday, October 13


And Another Thing!

When I look at a Linux server, I don't want to see hundreds of megabytes of memory free. At least, not on a busy web/database server with several gigabytes of actively used files.

All that memory should either be used by programs or for caching files. If there's 500 megabytes free, that means that 500 megabyes of memory was being used by programs that have now exited. The only thing that should be using 500 megabytes of memory is the MySQL server, and that (for obvious reasons) should not exit.

One big culprit is Movable Type. On our database, the MT comment script can use 60MB of memory; the search script used 300MB until I replaced it. A spamming run can easily fire up ten comments simultaneously (since they are not only extraordinarily inefficient in terms of memory use, but also in terms of speed). Then Fluffy kills them, and I'm left with a 600MB hole unaccounted for.

Another one is the Analog web stats package. I've just disabled it system-wide because it was using 300MB of memory to produce the stats for a single web site. (I've forgotten which one, but not one of the big ones like Ace or the Jawas.)

And then there's Apache. Leave it alone on a server with PHP and CGI and all kinds of other crap running, and you'll soon find individual Apache worker processes using 40 to 60MB each. If you have a hundred of those, that's 4 to 6GB of memory gone, which is probably more than you actually have.

Of course, if you're not running CPanel, you're probably running something reasonable like Apache 2.2 or lighttpd or, well, anything other than Apache 1.3.

Anyway, something is flushing useful data out of memory, and something is slowing down my blog, and I think it's the same something.

So until morale improves I'll be lining the suspects up against the wall and shooting them one by one.

(Minx itself is an interesting case. It's using 152MB of virtual memory for 10 threads, but only 15MB of that is resident. Why it does this I don't know, but unless I enable Psyco, the resident size never increases.)

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What is it with these guys?

They show up, download 5GB from a website that only has 300MB worth of files, and disappear.

Sure, I now have 4TB of bandwidth to play with, but that doesn't mean I'm happy for these idiots to just burn through it like that.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 12:29 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Wednesday, October 11


Punctuation Matters

One of the new shows for the Fall anime season is Negima!? This is not the same as Negima!, which aired in 2005.

It's a remake.

Of a show that aired last year.

Anyway. We also have season two of Sasami Mahou Shoujo Club* which doesn't quite have Pixy Misa in it. The first season of that aired this year, just to confuse you further. However, the fansubs of the first season are only just appearing now, so season two might have to wait a little while.

And we have Galaxy Angel 2, not to be confused with Galaxy Angel Z, which was the second season of Galaxy Angel.

It appears to be an entirely new cast, which is a shame. No more Mint? I'll still give it a try. Apricot Sakuraba? Milfeulle's sister maybe? Hmm.

* What's up with the stupid page that says ENTER? That's so 1997.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 03:17 AM | Comments (15) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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